Serve and Return of Serve

There is a sequence of three shots in pickleball that are largely more important than any other three, as together they get the ball in play safely in any given rally and give you the opportunity to control the point.

This section covers the first two of those three critical shots; the Serve and the Return of Serve.

In pickleball the Serve serves (pun intended) only a couple of functions. the first is to get the rally started; you can only score points when  you serve and you can’t score points if you don’t get the ball in play. That’s beginner-level serving and it’s critically important. Here’s a nice video on beginning serving. Beyond that, you need to know how to start the point safely, so that you can control the point. This is intermediate-level serving.

Return of Serve (ROS) is similarly basic and virtually as critical as the Serve. The philosophy of ROS can be summarized this way. At the Beginner level, a consistently soft, deep (back third of the court) Return of Serve is awesome. Typically at the Beginner level this is a forehand shot and should be aimed generally at the back middle of the opponents’ court. ROS at the Intermediate level starts to look at things like variations in pace, forehand vs. backhand and other issues.

NOTE: In the future we intend to offer you a course on advanced serving and returning. Advanced would add in elements of spin, pace, short-serving, sideline serves, variation (types of serves – e.g. backhand vs. forehand) and strategy, and would be oriented towards at least the 4.0+ levels. but these all pale in comparison to the importance of having a reliable, repeatable serve and return of serve now. We will also also provide thoughts about what to do when you LOSE your serve. So…lots more to come and check back often. But for now, we have a couple of things, below, you can use to get your group started or progressing.

Beginning Serve and Return of Serve

Intermediate Serve and Return of Serve

1 Comment

  • June 3, 2015

    Hello, I loved these descriptions of basic and intermediate serving functions. I would LOVE to read what you had to say about 4.0 and above serving.



Leave a CommentYour email address will not be published

Receive Our Updates

Disclaimers, Copyrights, and Such

This site is a portal to our own content as well as to materials developed by other folks. Our own content is copyrighted by and its owners, and is free for you to use for non-commercial purposes only. We assume no responsibility or liability for your use of any content; use it at your own discretion and risk. Go here for further info!
A. J. Fraties
Password Reset
Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.

Skip to toolbar